The early reviews on 6-foot-11 Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere have gone something like this: He doesn’t like physical contact. Plays too straight up. Won’t play near the basket.
|Kentucky vs. Ohio State
Saturday, Dec 19 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | OSU
Radio: UK Sports Network
Some or all of those observations have been evident at one time or another during a four-game slump in which Labissiere has totaled 18 points and seven rebounds. One of his more forgettable performances was in a 72-58 win over Arizona State last Saturday: no points and no rebounds before fouling out in 13 minutes.
John Calipari expected some growing pains for the Haitian native who moved to the U.S. following the devastating 2010 earthquake. The coach even warned it might take time for him to develop the physical and mental skills needed to become a low-post presence.
Labissiere has put in some extra training this week, and Calipari is looking to see how he responds when No. 4 Kentucky (9-1) faces Ohio State (5-5) on Saturday in the CBSSports Classic in Brooklyn, New York.